Upgrading your Analog Security Camera System

Various IP Cameras Installed by Urban Alarm

Various IP Cameras Installed by Urban Alarm

Of the more than 30,000 security cameras in Washington, D.C., many are analog cameras installed using older wiring. These cameras are no longer meeting the high-resolution image demands of 2016.

If you have a security system that relies on analog coaxial cable wiring, what's the best path forward?

There are two main options:

  1. Use a converter. Converters (like this one from Network Video Technologies) allow you to run IP (Internet protocol) over COAX and/or two conductor wires. 

    With this approach, you can:
    - Use higher resolution cameras with 3-5x the resolution of analog HD cameras. 
    - Zoom in on important information, without losing clarity.
    - Rely on a single cable for data and power for multiple cameras.

    The downside? The converter may be more expensive than the actual camera significantly increasing the per-camera costs.
  2. Add HD analog and phase in IP cameras. Keep your COAX cable and hook it up with HD resolution analog cameras. Over time, you can expand it to include IP cameras, as well. 

    While they don't have as high resolution as IP cameras, HD analog cameras can still hold their own. The cameras:

    - Offer good image quality.
    - Have minimal configuration requirements compared to IP cameras.
    - Can transmit video up to 1600' exceeding most network wire distances.
    - Work off network, so they won't take up bandwidth or clash with others resources.
    - Have zero latency.

    While HD analog cameras have recently been around half the cost of IP cameras, that difference is closing and and some IP cameras are more or less the same cost. Start off with HD analog cameras right away, and work in new IP cameras over time.